Alexa: How to Not be Homesick

Hey everyone! Hope the semester is treating you all well!

I remember last year around this time I was beginning to transition from the excitement of being a freshman in college to missing my sweet chocolate lab. I was homesick. Luckily, I was able to figure out ways to cure my homesickness, (lets just pretend that’s a word), and I thought now would be a perfect time to share.

1. Skype:

Skype and Facetime are both great ways to stay in touch with your family and friends back home. There is something about seeing someone that is much better than just a five-minute phone call.

2. Realize You’re Not Alone

Seriously, everyone gets homesick. Especially coming to BU from California, I found it easier to admit that I missed home a little when my other friends from California did too. If you can talk about it, soon it won’t be as lonely.

3. Keep Mementos from your room

Keeping something from your room in your dorm room helps you adjust more to your new (but temporary) home!

4. Get Involved

I know it’s been drilled in enough, but getting involved is one of the best ways to forget about being homesick. If you are busy interning for a radio show, or shooting for BUTV, pretty soon you’re so busy you forget about wishing you were back at home.

Hope these tips help! Also good luck on your upcoming first COM test!

 

Kaitlin: Cadet Kaitlin

For those of you who know me, you might already be familiar with the fact that my college experience is a bit different from many others’ in COM. Sure, I live in a dorm, revolve around a tight budget, and take enough classes to keep me pretty busy throughout the week.

But unlike most people, I’ve already been guaranteed a job for after I graduate. In fact, I know exactly how long I’ll have this job, how much I’ll be paid, and who my coworkers will be- 350,000 some odd Airmen.

That’s right. When I graduate Boston University’s College of Communication, I’ll also commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Since the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AF ROTC) is pretty rare in COM (I’m currently the only cadet majoring in a communication field), people usually have a ton of questions for me, so I thought I’d answer a few here!

So, what exactly is ROTC?

In short, it’s a college program designed to train students to become commissioned officers in the armed forces.  Boston University hosts four branches of ROTC- Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.

What does that really mean?

On top of normal college classes, I have quite a few mandatory things I must do every week as a member of ROTC, including an additional 5 hours of class-time, physical training sessions, and a uniform day. We also have additional events we must attend, the biggest one being  a 28-day training in Alabama and Mississippi over the Summer (I successfully completed mine in June!). Over the course of the four years we’re in college, we’re learning how to become the best leaders possible, so we can soon lead thousands of men and women in the military.

What happens next?

After my college career, I will enter the force as an officer, which means that Day One I’ll be the boss of thousands of enlisted personnel. My contract will commit me to four years in the active Air Force, and four years in the Reserves. My plan is to work in the field of public affairs, hence the public relations major, and learn as much as I can. I recognize that this experience is so incredibly rare, and will definitely contribute to a unique perspective on PR in other fields.

Annnnd the biggest question: Will you fly planes?

No, I will probably never fly a plane. The fact that everyone in the Air Force flies is actually a very common misconception! (Although that would be pretty cool).

I hope I cleared up some confusion and/or answered some questions you might have had! If any of you have any other questions about my experience in ROTC or otherwise, please feel free to let me know. And of course, if you see me walking around in my uniform on Wednesdays, be sure to say hello!

 

Lauren: Sorority Recruitment!

Hi everyone!  Hope you’re all having an amazing semester so far!

Last weekend, I participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s with my Sigma Kappa sisters!  It was such an amazing experience, and it made me realize that going through Formal Recruitment and joining a sorority was one of the best decisions of my life!

Through sisterhood and philanthropic events, sororities work to make a difference in the community and serve as a foundation for lifelong friendships.  Greek life is perfect for anyone looking to become a part of a special and meaningful group!

I recommend that any girls interested in joining a sorority go through Recruitment!  It will give you a chance to meet tons of girls and figure out which sorority is the best fit for you!

Formal Recruitment doesn’t begin until January (the actual dates are Friday January 11th to Monday January 14th – mark them on your calendar!!). While this may seem like it’s a century away, it’ll be here before you know it!

BU has some great resources on everything relating to Greek Life!  Here’s what you should do if you’re interested in recruitment!

  1. Check out the Greek Life Prospective Member FAQ page-

Got any specific questions about Greek life or recruitment?  Look no further!

http://www.bu.edu/greeklife/gogreek/faq-for-students/

  1. 2. Take some time to learn about all the different sororities

At formal recruitment, you’ll get the chance to meet all sororities!  It’s very exciting, but it can be a little overwhelming too!  My advice is to research all of BU’s sororities before recruitment, so that it makes things less stressful during recruitment time!  This will definitely help you out!

http://www.bu.edu/greeklife/governing-councils/panhel/sororities/

  1. 3. Keep up-to-date!

“Like” BU Sorority Recruitment on Facebook to stay in the loop with everything going on!  Also, follow @BUPanhel on Twitter for the latest Recruitment information!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/BU-Sorority-Recruitment/190289434356380

  1. 4. Learn the lingo!

If you get the chance, take some time to look at some of the Greek life terminology!   That way you’re ready to go on the first day of recruitment! http://www.bu.edu/greeklife/files/2009/10/Words-You-Should-Know.pdf

For sophomores, juniors and seniors, you can also look at some other recruitment options like Informal Recruitment or joining Kappa Alpha Theta!

I’m proud to be a member of the BU Greek community!  We’re a group of strong, dedicated students, and I can’t watch as we continue to grow!

#COMlove always,

Lauren

Jon: The Digital Days

Hey all!

Many of you may not know much about the workings of digital and interactive media, especially from a marketing standpoint. But don’t you let that get you down! The field, which is a fairly new one anyways, is being explored by BU’s Digital Media Club (BUDMC), where I serve as Treasurer.
The club gives students a chance to get hands on with bringing an idea from inception to completion in the digital space. Or in layman’s terms, to think of something cool and digital and then make it happen. Terrier Labs, the digital incubator side of the club, focuses on identifying brand problems, usually within BU, and then creating an innovative digital solution for them.

Perhaps you’re scared of code, and have never touched an HTML document in your life. Maybe you don’t want to learn the Adobe creative suite when you never really plan on working as an art director. Well that’s just fine. BUDMC brings together designers, developers and marketers to produce a product that is viable, useful, and innovative. So that means that even if you only feel cut out for the marketing and management side of digital, then there is a space for you. And best of all the work is done in a collaborative environment where you can pick up skills in coding and design from your coworkers.

But why is digital exciting? What’s so great about it that traditional media can’t provide? The answer is flexibility.

With a digital product designed right, a team can start extremely small, and test, evaluate and iterate on their idea until it is near perfect, using constant feedback from consumers who are trying the product out. The medium allows you to quickly change things that aren’t working, and then asses the quality of those changes.

The high speed nature of the field is exhilarating, but the most rewarding part is seeing something you’ve actually accomplished. Knowing that you started from an idea on pen-and-paper, and then ended with a physical (well, relatively) product that you can use is an incredibly rewarding feeling. I know that’s how everyone in the club who was involved with the BURoomSwap project, which created a tool to help students who are unhappy with their housing situation find someone to swap rooms with, felt when they saw users taking the site in stride and running with it, making plenty of postings and even some successful swaps along the way.

If you have even the slightest interest I can only highly recommend giving BUDMC a look. And make sure to keep your ear to the ground about upcoming DMC projects!

Until Next Time,

Jon

 

Taylor: Try Something Different

TRUE OR FALSE: Figuring out a daily routine and sticking to it should become priority for college students. Prior the start of my sophomore year, I would have totally agreed with the previous statement. However, during these past four weeks on campus I have come to understand the depth of spontaneity.

Now I am not discouraging terrier-ific COMers to invest in planners. I passionately urge students to create a general schedule with course deadlines along with personal projects. However, I am beginning to understand how much of an enjoyable experience college can be with the inclusion of activities outside of your major field.

For instance, I have recently been cast in BU On Broadway’s fall musical, All Shook Up. Participating in this production is a major change from my campus involvement last year. I am actively involved in both BUTV10 and WTBU, so my personal calendar has endured a scheduling tornado. However, I am enjoying every moment of my involvement. I took the initiative to try something different from my intended major and I have come to fall in love with new family I have joined.

So take advantage of the COMmotion, study hard, and enjoy life!

Taylor

 

Dany: The First Week

Well, it’s official. You guys are officially college students! I hope your first week has been going fantastic and you’re enjoying all your classes and meeting a ton of people and just having an awesome time.

I can’t believe I’ve only been back in Boston for a few days. So much has been going on that it feels like I’ve been back for weeks. Before I even got back to campus, I was already busy getting things ready for PC’s first events. I hope some of you were able to come out to our Drive-In Movie event on Saturday night! We played “The Avengers” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and it was a great success. I landed on Saturday morning, spent half of the afternoon semi-unpacking and then went straight to work on setting everything up. Time is definitely not wasted at BU!

Sunday was SPLASH and I had lovely chats with a lot of you at the PC table. As secretary, I now have a stack of sign-up sheets to go through and get our listserv going for the new year. It’s a lot of work but I’m so excited for our first general interest meeting coming up soon. Definitely hope to see some of you there!

We have so many awesome events this semester for you guys. Our next big one is of course Childish Gambino this Friday at Metcalf! It’s going to be an awesome show and it’s only $15 with your BU ID! Tickets are online and they’re going pretty fast which is good news for us. We always want to make sure that we’re giving students the best events we possibly can and when a response is so overwhelmingly positive, we know we’re doing the right thing!

Anyway, my schedule has been nonstop since I got here and I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Life has just been a blur of PC, COM, Admissions, classes, catching up with friends, completing my study abroad application, checking out the new dining hall, and revisiting my favorite Boston locales. It’s a miracle I have time to breathe, honestly. I hope you all have a chance to get involved with everything you signed up for at SPLASH. Take advantage this year and go to as many meetings as you can! Find out what really interests you and stick with it. There’s no reason to ever be bored in Boston. Trust me.

As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about anything I’m involved in or just general classes, life, etc. Good luck these next few weeks! And have fun!

Steph: Clubs, Clubs, and More Clubs

Hey guys, guess what? SCHOOL STARTS SO SOON! While I’m pretty sad that summer is coming to an end, I also can’t wait to get back to Boston in just about 20 days!

The first few weeks as a college student were definitely a tough adjustment. It seems like everyone is wearing their favorite band T-shirts, desperate for someone to walk up and say, “Hey, you like the Jonas Brothers too?! So do I! LET’S BE BFFS!!” But, just remember that you aren’t the only person feeling a tad lonely—everyone is starting out the same way, hoping that someone likes the Jonas Brothers just as much as they do. Everyone is looking to make friends, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself. The best way to do this is to join a club! Think about it: by joining a club, half the work is already done—you know that the people who signed up for the same club have to have something in common with you!

At the beginning of the school year, BU holds an even called SPLASH, which is an enormous club fair held on Nickerson Field. As a freshman, I was totally overwhelmed. There are just SO many clubs and organizations to get involved in; you might feel a bit lost. I did, and I ended up waiting until second semester to really commit to anything. When I finally joined BUTV in the spring as a production assistant for the soap opera Bay State, I totally regretted my decision of not starting earlier. It was clear that it’s the best and most fun way to meet people.

My advice to you is to do your research. Before you get to Boston, visit this website for a list of all the student organizations at BU so you can go into SPLASH with a better idea of what you want to sign up for: http://bu.collegiatelink.net/organizations

So do some research, sign up for anything that seems fun, and stick with one or two things. Don’t waste time like I did! See you all so soon!

Lauren: Blown Away by the Windy City

Hi everyone!  I hope you all are having an amazing summer, and I hope you’re ready for the fall!  I wanted to share one of my summer adventures with you because it proves that sometimes, taking a chance can really pay off!

When Sigma Kappa national headquarters announced that they were sponsoring two collegiate sisters to attend a leadership conference in Chicago, I knew that I needed to apply!  While I thought my chances were slim, I figured it was worth a shot.  I wrote an essay describing why I wanted to attend and waited with baited breathe.  Finally I heard back, and found out that I would be representing my sorority at the conference!  AHH!!!

Before I knew it, on June 3rd, I was on a flight to Chicago, excited to meet my roommate (another fellow Sigma Kappa) and all the other participants.  I was ready for an amazing adventure!

Led by the brilliant Mike Dilbeck (founder & president of the RESPONSE ABILITY Project and founder of the Every|Day Hero Campaign) and the amazing Phired Up! Team, the Be the Person 2012 Conference focused on showing participants that they have the strength to become an everyday hero.  We were challenged to inspire change in our community by finding and promoting our own, personal “cause” (mine was to stop the unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies in the media, and show everyone that they’re beautiful and perfect, exactly the way they are!!)

This was no ordinary conference, however.  In fact, the staff didn’t even want us to call it a conference! We didn’t spend hours at a time stuck inside a conference hall or ball room, listening to PowerPoint presentations and lectures.  Instead, we got to see the city of Chicago, interact with other people and really learn about ourselves.

We didn’t just talk about making a difference, we actually, well…made a difference.   One day we wrote motivational quotes on poster boards and participated in a “kindness flash mob” on the streets of Chicago!  The reactions we received from passersby were truly touching, and it meant so much to know that we were actually helping to brighten someone’s day!  A police officer driving by in a car even said “keep up the good work ladies and gentleman!”   This really showed us that sometimes, even little things can make a huge, meaningful difference.   Another day, we “chalked” the Chicago sidewalks, writing inspiring quotes to help people get through their day!  I’ve honestly never had so much fun in my whole, entire life!

We also learned about bystander behavior, and discussed why people don’t take action when they see something bad happening.  We were inspired to find the courage in ourselves to NOT be a bystander anymore, and to have the strength to be a leader and do what’s right, even when we’re standing alone.  It was a really powerful message that definitely resonates, especially in today’s society.

All the activities and lessons really helped the participants bond, and I had the chance to make some great new friends.  One highlight of the event was meeting some fellow Terriers!  We all were able to bond over our love of BU, and it really helped me feel at home even though I was very far from Boston.  It just goes to show that the BU Connection extends far beyond the boundaries of Commonwealth Avenue!

I also had the chance to meet other collegiate members who were representing their sorority!  These girls came from college all across the country, and were really remarkable leaders.  I loved hearing their story, and learned so much by talking with them.

Though it’s almost been a month since I left the Windy City, I know that I’ll never forget the amazing experience, or the incredible people I met on my journey!  I’ve been so inspired, and I can’t wait to really go out in the world and create change!

This summer, challenge yourself to make a difference in someone’s life.  Every bit counts.

 

Julianna: Listen Up, Budding Journos!

Julianna ImageHere are my Top 5 tips on how to up your game as a student journalist:

1.  Join BU’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ)

Shameless plug alert! Our chapter is still in its infancy, however our presence at COM continues to become more and more known. We host Q&A’s with local reporters and editors and even toured the Boston Globe building in November. If you become a national member of SPJ then you have the opportunity to flash a legit press card to prove that you’re a journalist and uphold your First Amendment rights. Look out for a BU SPJ table at “Splash” in September! Also follow us on Twitter @BUSPJ.

2.  Clips Clips Clips

Do yourself a favor, and rack up those clips! The best way to do this is to start writing as soon as freshman year begins by applying to be a staff writer for a publication, such as The Quad (online blog/magazine). If you’re into broadcast journalism then get involved with BUTV10 and/or our radio station, WTBU. Photojournalists can join the Photo Club or apply to be a photographer for a publication. No need to look for an internship during your first semester of college, just start with the extracurriculars here at BU to build up experience.

3.  Keep a personal blog

I must accredit this piece of advice to Courtney Hollands, the senior lifestyles editor at Boston Magazine and BU COM alum. At a recent BU SPJ Q&A, Courtney stressed that keeping a personal blog is key to developing a voice as a writer and expertise in subjects that interest you. During those times that your budding journalism career appears to be at a lull, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are frequently writing, and a blog is the easiest way. As a former Tumblr addict who only reblogged hipster-worthy photos, I am making it my summer project to create a blog that actually features…you guessed it, MY WRITING. So stay tuned to read about everything from album and movie reviews to issues in Israel and re-caps of breaking news.

4.  Stay up on the news

I always say one of the perks of COM is that we get the Boston Globe and New York Times FREE everyday. By the way if you bring a copy of the newspaper to journalism class your professor will definitely notice, so take advantage of this privilege. Of course one of the best ways to constantly be on top of breaking news is by following a slew of news organizations on Twitter. If you have an iPhone then do yourself a favor and get the Associated Press app. It’s free and will send you alerts when important news breaks. The app also syncs up to local newspapers, such as the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, to give you local AP-wired stories.

5.  Résumés…Le Sigh

I feel as though I’ve gotten so much advice on the do’s and don’t’s of  résumés that when it comes time for me to update mine I end up staring at the screen in freak-out mode. My fellow e-board members of BU SPJ recently attended a journalism convention in New York and came back to BU with résumé tips from professional journalists. They learned that the first and most important section should be your related news experience, followed by work, education and miscellaneous/skills. They also learned that employers in the news business want to see that individuals are keeping themselves busy with other things other than reporting, so include your part-time job, hobbies and so on. Make sure to include your Twitter handle only if your tweets are appropriate and free of opinions. Also create an online résumé and/or LinkedIn to link-up to your online clips, personal blog, broadcast packages and best work done in your journalism classes.

Taylor: BUTV10

Taylor ImageIf someone were to tell me that beginning freshmen year of college I would have the option of working the camera, switchboard, and interviewing worldly acclaimed journalists and icons I would have said they were crazy…. BUT THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED.  Boston University’s television channel, BUTV10, has various student-run shows- ranging from sports to soaps -that welcomes Terrier involvement beginning freshmen year. BUTV10 allows for students to gain hands-on-experience and fosters a community of varied thoughts and opinions.

At the beginning of the school year I attended an information session, which supplied me with tons of information about the various shows produced by BUTV10.  I knew immediately knew from the show descriptions, that “The Wire” and “On that Point” compelled more to my aspirations of being a broadcast journalist. I signed up for the shows thinking that as a freshman I would be given mediocre jobs and have to competitively climb my way up the ladder. I could not have thought more wrong.

Within my first day of shooting for The Wire – BUTV10s morning news show- I expected to straggle my way into Studio West, sit, and merely watch the crewmembers as they record. WRONG.  Upon entering the studio I was delegated as cameraman, shown the proper way of positioning the camera, taught camera vocabulary, and shot for both the national and campus segments. I was terrified of the camera after the first shoot. However, after practice and healthy criticism from other crewmembers I began to become attuned with the equipment, or “a natural” so to speak. After a few weeks of becoming acclimated to working the teleprompter, sound, camera, and even directing here and there I began to be assigned national and campus stories to report.

BUTV10 welcomes students without a second of hesitation.  Professor Cavalieri, the BUTV10 faculty advisor, encourages students to become involved in shows regardless of major or enrollment in COM. Many crewmembers within On that Point– BUTV10s political talk show- are enrolled in other colleges at BU.

Due to my involvement with BUTV10 many cool and exclusive opportunities have arisen. For instance, early this semester, Mad Men director Jennifer Getzinger stopped by Studio West and agreed to a short interview which I stage-managed. During Super Tuesday I joined a crew, mostly consisting of freshmen, and assisted the Graduate Program’s Newsroom Class as they conducted live coverage of the days results.

BUTV10 is offering me a jump-start on understanding and handling broadcast technology, forming scripts, and tweaking on camera bumps before I begin my major focused classes.  I have formed great friendships with crewmembers within my shows of involvement. In fact after pitch meetings and episode shoots the crew of On that Point often eats dinner at Warren Towers.

To read more information about all of the BUTV10 shows along with watching recent segments visit www.butv10.com .

CONGRATS ON ADMITTANCE! 🙂

Taylor W.